Archive for January, 2013

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I’ve always prided myself as being a fairly good writer of paranormal based fiction.  Ghosts, Cryptozoology, and even Sci-fi are fun to write about and can send the mind into overdrive if good descriptions and thorough character development is used.

Since the beginning of the 1990’s, Paranormal subjects have kicked into overdrive.  With the development of Reality shows like “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures” however, one has to wonder about the staying power of such subjects.  The search for Ghosts, the study of witchcraft, and new age studies have reached new heights within the past two + decades, eclipsing the length of the interest in these things the last time they were in fashion…ie the 1920’s, and perhaps briefly in the early 70’s with the interest in ESP.

There are, however, always going to be exceptions to every rule.  Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, and even Charlaine Harris have all had successful careers spanning several decades writing about supernatural things.  One would think that this would be indicative of the stability of the subject matter, but I’m not so sure that it is.  These writers are exceptionally good at thier craft and thus could make neary anything they chose to write about worth reading.  As much as I hate to admit it, I definitely not another Stephen King, or any of those authors for that matter.  While I strive to become that good at the craft, I don’t know that I will ever be up to that level of excellence.

This brings me to the overall question here.  How long can one bank of fads and is it a good idea to put my supernatural related ideas on hold until this fad comes around for another bout?

I’d be really interested to hear what you folks think about this, and the success of books based on current public interest levels in the subject matter of the work.

I’ve been looking for some sort of software to help me write and organize at the same time, but I’ve not been having a whole lot of luck.  So, I’m asking my friends out there just what they prefer to use.  Let me explain why…

I’m an old guy.  I don’t have the best eye sight in the world and my attention span is certainly not what it used to be.  When you add to that my disability requires me to take pain pills that hurt my attention span and memory, you’ll get a general idea of what I fight with when it comes to software.  I DON’T HAVE THE PATIENCE TO LEARN HOW TO USE IT!!!

So far, I’ve tried the online word processors like Zoho.com and Google.com.  I’ve also used Microsoft Word and Works.  In 2010 though, I actually won Nanowrimo.  That entitled me to a 50% off coupon for Scrivener for Windows, a writing software that had previously only been released on the Mac format.  I waited and waited and never really got the cash together to buy it, and then my Aunt (who is WONDERFUL) bought it for me for Christmas in 2011, almost a full year later.  By that time, it was out of beta test and a bunch of bugs had been worked out of it.  I was a very happy boy!

THEN I tried to use it.  Wow…talk about a bunch of unfamiliar things!  I tried to watch the tutorials and absorb the information therein, to no avail.  I tried winging it, again to no avail.    Obviously, this wasn’t going to work out for me.  I want something that will allow me to write and coalate (sp?) chapters, and offer me tools for outlining as well.  Scrivener claims to offer that, but heck, I can’t figure it out!  So now, here I am…

What software do you folks use that you just wouldn’t be able to function without.  Is it free and if not how much does it cost?  WHY do you like your preferred software?  What software do you consider annoying or too difficult to work with?  Please be brutally honest and don’t hold anything back!  I don’t think any of the manufacturers are going to be perusing my blog…and if they are, they need the feedback!

Thanks in advance!

I recently read an article on Writer’s Digest regarding the subject of prologues.  They suggest that the prologue is a retired writing style and that most likely I wouldn’t want to use it in todays writing community.  This creates a big problem for me.

Being a writer of paranormal based materials, usually a small portion of my novels take place in the past.  Some sort of horrible murder, or perhaps a witches action may create a problem or cast a spell that will come to fruition at some point in the future.  In my mind, this creates a need for a prologue.  Or does it?

How does one include a scene in ones novel regarding the history of an inanimate object or something else of the like that no one is still alive to relay the story of?  I suppose that it could be written in history books, or in some arcane language of some sort somewhere…It just doesn’t seem plausible to me to use this though.  To me, a prologue is a much more efficient way of presenting the information.

Again, looking for input here.  What do you think?  To prologue, or not to prologue?  Is it really passe’?

 

Since I had such a hard time the other day posting a link to my blog, I wanted to take another shot at it and see if I couldn’t put an actual link into the page that a person could actually click. For some reason, I’m having a real problem with that. Here goes:

Blondmyk’s Backyard

Now, if that worked properly, you can all get an idea of my “Non-Fiction” writing style. The way I write fiction is MUCH different, and you will most likely not get a sample of that until I get some things copywritten.

Enjoy this for now though!

I spend a lot of time brainstorming while I write.  I’m usually doing it for the characters that I’m writing about, but yesterday for some strange reason I was completely sidetracked by an idea for a script.

While I would love to include the idea here, I don’t really want anyone to steal the idea from me, so I’m not going to post it.  I must just be happy with giving you THIS information:

It’s based on an old TV show and a feature film from the 40’s thru the early 70’s.

I would be bringing the story up to date…bringing the characters into the 21st century.

It has a paranormal theme, but for some reason has been overlooked in this last onslaught of paranormal based shows.

With that being said, I have a couple of questions for my very small audience here:

1.  This idea has already been a movie and a show once.  The show ran in the late sixties and early seventies.  Before I write this, are there any kinds of permissions that I need to get before I start writing it out?  Can I go ahead and write it and label it with the label “Fan Fiction?”

2.  Is the market too saturated with Paranormal based shows as it is?  Is there room for one more good show on this subject, even if it is rather soap opera-ish?

Please folks, your input is required here before I decide to move on.  Please leave comments!

Greetings fellow bloggers!

My name is Michael Hamilton and I am a beginner novelist and an intermediate writer.  I’m obviously not famous, but I have done work in the past as a technical writer for “Des Moines Iowa Extreme Paranormal Advanced Research Team,” and also as co-writer of  “Ghost Town,” a perfectly dreadful little script turned short film by Dark Art Films out of Ankeny, Iowa.  I have competed in Nanowrimo for five seasons, only completing the task twice, but with framework for potentially interesting novels yet to be grown in the future.  In my spare time I like to grow flowers and garden.  I write a blog on blogger about the plants I grow which can be found here:  http://blondmyksbackyard.blogspot.com/ .  When I learn a bit more about Word Press, I’ll figure out how to add working links.  Until then, please feel free to copy and paste that link to your address bar.

It was never my intention to start a writing blog until well after I had published my first novel, but considering how the past three years have been going, if I didn’t do it now it would most likely never happen.  “Why not?” one would ask?  Well, perhaps the best reason is because LIFE has a real problem with getting in my way.  It gets in the way of everything I want to do with my time, dadgumit!

About seven years ago I was disabled while performing a lifting task at work, and I herniated the L5-S1 disk in my lower back.  If you don’t know which one that is, it’s the great big giant one at the very base of your back.  It was the second time that I had herniated that particular disk, and I guess it was just too much for the poor thing to take, because it started acting very “not friendly” toward me.  After two surgeries, Workman’s Compensation battles, years of litigation, and years of incredibly distracting pain, I finally gave up and filed for disability.  Upon receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance I decided that it was time to follow my dream and become a novelist.  (Well…maybe it wasn’t my FIRST dream, but it was up pretty high on the list.)  I am now considered a Chronic Pain Patient and my life is filled with drowsiness and sleep due to the amounts of medication that I take.

One would think that writing is a very logical thing to do considering my situation, but alas, it’s not.  The doctor has given me a list of things to do and not to do and one of those things that I’m not supposed to do is sit in any one position for more than twenty minutes at a time.  If you know ANYTHING about writing, than you can imagine how this could impede someone with lofty goals like mine!

The purpose in my creation of this blog is to share my thoughts and musings on the subject of writing.  I want to share examples of my writing style and get some basic feedback from people telling me whether or not I can clearly communicate through this medium.  I am not the best speaker in the world, and I’ve always been told that it was best for me to convey my thoughts via written word, so I’m going to need help from YOU, the reader, in determining whether or not my dream is an achieveable one.  This blog is an open blog, and I encourage every one of you that stumbles upon it to comment on anything and everything, from sentence structure, on through spelling, and even into plot.  I need to learn, even if it hurts.

So, I’d like to thank each one of you in advance for your contributions to this blog.  More will follow this post very soon.  I look forward to getting to know everyone!